I got the inspiration for the title of this blog from one of my favourite artists Sam Smith. What an incredible voice – very unique. I sat at my computer staring at the screen wondering what to write…. I even posted a photo of my blank screen on Instagram…. You see it helps not to take life too seriously! Anyway, you can decide when you get to the end of this blog whether the title has anything to do with the content…. I have a sneaky suspicion it might not!

shop qatarHowever, I do want to tell you about a really exciting festival coming up next month, the country’s biggest shopping festival. It is called ShopQatar – and will be on for a month from 7th January 2018 to 7th February 2018. Can I hear some groans? Are you thinking this is all about shopping and you are not interested? Are you even thinking “of course she’s writing a blog about shopping, she’s a woman”…. Tut! Tut! Well, I think even the least excited shoppers will be interested in this festival. Qatar Tourism Authority is really getting behind the economy and is showing support to businesses – big and small. With the change of visa requirements for many countries, Qatar is throwing its arms wide open and is welcoming tourists to experience all that Qatar has to offer. The aim of the festival is also to shed a spotlight on the newer and exciting retail scene and to encourage a boost the local economy.

There was once a time where I would have rolled my eyes at a shopping festival. shop qatar 2018When we first came here four years ago, I didn’t used to shop here much. I found the choice of clothes particularly limited and overpriced for us Brits. If I’m honest I used to wait until I flew back to the UK to do my shopping. However, times have changed and Qatar has made huge progress in this area. New Malls have popped up all over the place, prices have come down, the choice of shops is increasing and the frequency of the pings on my husband’s phone is definitely increasing! We can find most high street shops here in the Malls and an abundance of interesting local shops especially in Souq Waqif. So Qatar is now encouraging us and the world to stop and shop – and why not?

The festival will take place from 7th January and there will be four weeks of varied activities to accompany this festival – from concerts, pop up workshops, fashion shows, makeup masterclasses, local pop up shops and expert tours of Souq Waqif.

Watch out for the tonnes of generous raffle draw prizes too. I will be posting all the events I hear of, of course, but in the meantime note these dates:

7-13 January is Arabia week – all things Arabic
14-20 January is Bollywood week – all things Asian
21 January – 7 February – International weeks

Follow my facebook page Coming Up In Qatar for more details on events

Follow my Instagram Coming_Up_In_Qatar for …. for other things!